, ,

cropped-rose-4.gifJohn 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full”

1 John 1:4, “These things we write to you that your joy may be full”

Webster’s Dictionary defines joy as synonymous with “happy,” “glad,” and “cheerful.” A thesaurus relates it to “exultation,” “rapture,” “satisfaction” and “pleasure.” Webster’s specifically defines it as “a very glad feeling; happiness; great pleasure; delight.” It also refers to the source or cause of delight.

My beloved, this world offers only “temporary pleasures” (Hebrews 11:25), but the Lord Jesus offers to give us full and lasting joy (John 15:11). Pleasure is dependent on circumstances; however, joy is inward and is not disturbed by one’s environment. I’m also reminded of the prophet Habakkuk who declared triumphantly, “I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:18). Even if everything were taken from him, he would still have the joy of the Lord in his heart.

The writer of Psalm 98 had the joy of the LORD and a song in his heart. He called on others to join him in singing “to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things”. He praised God for His salvation, His righteousness, His mercy, and His faithfulness. The psalmist’s heart was so overflowing with praise and joy that he called on the earth to break forth in song, the rivers to clap their hands, and the hills to be joyful.

My beloved, if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, you have much to be thankful for as well; God’s good gifts of family friends, and His daily supply for our needs. He faithfully cares for us, His precious children. At all times remember, “The joy of the LORD is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). We can also take great comfort in the teachings of Jesus, who in John 15:11 said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” We may not be able to sing very well (like me); however, when we recall all that God is to us and all that He has done for us, we can’t help but “break forth in song” and declared “the joy of the LORD”.

Closing illustration:

The story has been told that writer C. W. Metcalf while working as a hospice volunteer met a terminally ill 13-year-old boy named Chuck. One day when Metcalf was visiting him, Chuck gave Metcalf half a dozen sheets of paper with writing on both sides and said, “I want you to give this to my mom and dad after I die. It’s a list of all the fun we had and all the times we laughed.” Metcalf was amazed that this teenager on the verge of death was thinking about the well-being of others. Upon Chuck’s death, Metcalf delivered the list to his parents. Years later Metcalf decided to make a list of his own. Surprisingly, he found it very difficult at first to compile his “joy list.” However, as he began looking each day for the moments of laughter, satisfaction, and joy, his list began to grow.

As born again believers in Christ our joy list will no doubt include many references to the presence and power of Jesus Christ. No matter what our circumstances, joy is His gracious gift to all who trust Him. Even as Jesus faced the cross, He looked beyond its agony to the glad result of His sacrifice. He told His disciplines, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 5:11).Why not begin your own joy list today. It can be a good reminder of the Lord’s faithful love and the gladness of heart that He gives. The question is, “Do you have the Joy of the Lord in your heart and life?

Joy comes from the LORD who lives within us, not from what’s happening around us.